Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Returning Fulbright Award! Summer 2012

I was awarded a returning Fulbright grant and will be heading back to Moldova in July and August.  I will be working on a research project about the impact of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on legal and constitutional reform in Moldova.

I will also be making preparations for my Spring 2013 Alternative Spring Break Study Abroad Course. (I will be bringing students to Moldova for a comparative politics course studying the history, government, and politics of the Republic of Moldova.)

I am bringing my 7-year-old daughter with me, and I am working with her on her Kids Care project (for her 2nd grade Gifted Class).  She is working on 2 community service projects in Moldova (one with Casa Gavroche in Chisinau and the other with a Peace Corps Volunteer in Telenesti).

Making progress on the logistics for the trip -- airfare booked, housing secured, summer camp arrangements made, conversational Romanian and Russian lessons during drive time, packing....  (One pleasant surprise re: logistics for this 2012 trip is that the CDC recommendations for travelers to Moldova have changed.  We don't need any vaccines this time!)

We are looking forward to our new adventures. Wish us a "Drum Bun"!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Peggy's Beach Birthday Bash: Collections for Kids Care Project to bring to Moldova

At Peggy's 7th birthday party at home in Madeira Beach, we collected art supplies and sports equipment for her two Kids Care Projects.

Peggy asked her friends to draw pictures (and include pictures of themselves) so that the children at Casa Gavroche would know about all of their friends in America who donated the supplies for the project. 

Peggy's Kids Care Project: Casa Gavroche

Peggy is collecting art supplies for Casa Gavroche, a shelter for at-risk children and children living on the streets in Chisinau.

One of our friends in Moldova, Beatrice, volunteered at Casa Gavroche as a part of Wave Week (

Peggy skyped with her to find out more about volunteer opportunities.  It turns out our friend Beatrice did face painting and origami with the kids. I am not sure that Peggy and I are that talented, but we are looking forward to having fun with the children just the same.

Here is more information about Casa Gavroche in Chisinau, Moldova:

“The Center for Social Rehabilitation of Children “Casa Gavroche” is a shelter for children living and working on the streets and other categories of children at risk from Chisinau. “Casa Gavroche” was created by the Municipal Department for the Protection of Children’s Rights and the Association for the Re-socialization of Street Children, within a project financially supported by UNICEF Moldova, Social Investment Fund in Moldova and Chisinau City Administration. The creation of the Center “Casa Gavroche” was imposed by the need of diversifying the range of services provided to children in difficult circumstances and their families.”  

Article about Casa Gavroche:

Photos of the children at Casa Gavroche:

YouTube Video of the children:

Peggy's Kids Care Project, Soccer Field in Telenesti

We reached out to the Director of the Peace Corps in Moldova to find out if there were any Volunteers who could use Peggy's help with a project.

It turns out that there is a volunteer in the village of Telenesti (about an hour's drive from Chisinau) who is working on a new sports center and soccer field for the children. He said he could use soccer balls and pumps.  So Peggy will be collecting soccer balls and pumps for this project. (And we are going shopping to see if we can purchase new balls that are not yet inflated....we'll get more in our suitcases that way!)

Here are some pictures of the field.

We are hoping that we can visit Telenesti and meet with the Volunteer.  I would love for Peggy to see first-hand the kinds of impact that the Peace Corps Program has around the world.

Peggy's Kids Care Project, Casa Gavroche and Telenesti Soccer Field

Peggy has an assignment for her 2nd grade Gifted Class that is called "Gifted Kids Care."  The assignment explains that the "goal of this community service project is for each student to demonstrate planning, communication, and leadership skills while being of service to others."

When talking to Peggy about the project, she decided that she would like to work on a project in Moldova.  We contacted several friends and colleagues and came up with two projects:

Collecting art supplies for Casa Gavroche in Chisinau and collecting soccer balls/pumps for a new sports center in the village of Telenesti.

We will bring these supplies with us to Moldova in July, and we look forward to volunteering at the centers as well. We'll post more about the two projects and about Peggy's work to collect the materials.